Post written by Laura Jay-Ballinger. Click here to learn more about our entire blog team.
The idea of hope is always one that has captivated me. What does it really mean to hope? What does hope look like? How can we obtain this illusive hope?
You hear “hope makes anything possible” or “hope is what keeps us alive.” When it comes down to it, how do you know if someone has it or doesn’t?
I can say that it’s easy to recognize when one does not have hope. As a behavioral health therapist, I have witnessed the harshness and cruelty of the absence of hope. I have also seen those experiencing dark, crushing hopelessness regain their light. This process is incredibly inspiring. Though it appears hope is not something I can exactly put my finger on, it’s clear that it is a necessary part of our lives. And an essential component to therapy.
I think that’s a big reason people come through HealthNet’s doors and find themselves in the behavioral health department. They want their hope back.
It seems that this usually comes about in two ways. The healing brought about by human connection and sharing one’s story is a powerful thing. It also takes hard work! Make no mistake that our patients that get their hope back and experience healing have committed to put in the time, effort, and energy to make changes in their lives.
That’s the source of my hope. Seeing others face all life can throw at them and come out on the other side. I have witnessed change and the reclaiming of hope in all shapes and sizes. From HealthNet’s youngest patients to HealthNet’s most seasoned. From conversations I’ve had with other clinic staff, I know I’m not the only one inspired by the courage, strength, and hope of our patients. My colleague, Bhumi, referenced HealthNet as a “safe place” in a previous blog post. I think our clinics represent that safe place in providing hope to our patients. Hope that what you’re dealing with can be addressed. Hope that caring staff will meet you where you are. Hope that we’ll figure this out together. Though hope seems to be an illusive concept at times, there is no doubt it is powerful and something that I “hope” we provide to our patients in everyday interactions full of kindness, patience, and compassion.